Obama: Clinton should not quit

Barack Obama refused Saturday to go along with other Democrats who are calling for Hillary Rodham Clinton to step away from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“My attitude is Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants,” Obama said.

Obama told reporters he did not agree with one of his supporters, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, when he said earlier this week that Clinton cannot win the nomination and should therefore drop out. “I hadn’t talked to Pat about it,” Obama said.

At stops throughout the day, Clinton raised the question of whether she should leave the race — eliciting loud jeers from supporters.

“There are some people who say we should just stop these elections. ‘Enough people have already voted, what’s a few million more?'” Clinton said in Louisville, Ky. “I don’t know about you but I’m glad Kentucky is going to be voting and you’ll be choosing because it’s such an important election.” The state holds its primary May 20.

Campaigning in Pennsylvania, her husband, Bill Clinton, said party insiders looking to resolve the contest should step back and allow the process to move forward.

“We just need to relax and let this happen. Nobody’s talking about wrecking the party,” the former president said. “Everywhere I go, all these working people say: ‘Don’t you dare let her drop out. Don’t listen to those people in Washington, they don’t represent us.'”

The campaign on Saturday released a fundraising e-mail, signed by Bill Clinton, asking supporters to challenge talk of his wife departing the race by sending a check to her campaign.

“There’s no better way to tell Hillary that you support her staying in than to make a contribution to her campaign,” he wrote.

Obama offered a bit of tough love to Pennsylvania voters, saying some industrial and manufacturing jobs may not return to this steel region, but others could take their place.

Clinton also stressed job creation at campaign stops in Indiana and Kentucky, vowing to help manufacturers transition to new industries like clean energy and ending tax breaks for American companies that ship jobs overseas.

“I think this election, particularly here in Indiana, is about jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs,” the former first lady said.

Jobs and the economy are front and center in the remaining primary contests between the two Democratic hopefuls. Pennsylvania, which holds its primary April 22, has seen its manufacturing base and especially its steel industry weakened in recent decades, as has Indiana, which votes May 6.

While campaigning in Ohio, another big manufacturing state, both Clinton and Obama criticized free trade deals and insisted the other candidate was not as reliable a protector of U.S. jobs. Clinton won that state’s March 4 primary.

In Johnstown, a woman employed at a call center told Obama that 200 of her co-workers had lost jobs after the work was outsourced to India. She blamed free trade and asked what the Illinois senator would do about it.

“I don’t want to make a promise that I can bring back every job that’s left Johnstown. It’s just not true. Some of those jobs aren’t going to come back,” Obama answered.

“What I can do is try … to create an environment in which jobs are being created,” he said, adding that they “may not be the same jobs that left and don’t come back.”

Speaking in Indianapolis, Clinton tied many of the region’s economic woes to U.S. trade policy and to President Bush’s laissez-faire approach to China, where numerous America jobs have been shipped in recent years.

“We are now deeply in debt. We owe money to everybody, not just to China but to Mexico and practically any other country you can think of. We are $9 trillion in debt,” she said.

Obama, who is on a six-day bus tour through Pennsylvania, toured a factory that makes the wires that eventually become Slinky toys. He played with a Slinky through the visit.

Asked whether voters might be turned off by talk of some jobs not coming back, Obama said he was trying to give the phone worker a clear answer.

“The point I was making is that the same jobs are probably not going to come back. We’re not going to suddenly see Bethlehem Steel reopen,” he said. “What we’re going to see is potentially some specialty steel of the sort that we saw at Johnstown Wire that has created a niche that can grow.”

Also Saturday, former Democratic contender John Edwards made his first public comments on the race since dropping out two months ago.

“I have a very high opinion of both of them,” Edwards said of Obama and Clinton at the Young Democrats of North Carolina convention. “We would be blessed as a nation to have either one of them as president.”

At the same event, Chelsea Clinton said her travels have opened her eyes to sexism.

“I didn’t really get how much sexism there still was in our country until I was at a rally with my mom in New Hampshire, and someone came up to me and said, ‘I just can’t see a woman being commander in chief,'” the former first daughter said.

She has always been supported by both the men and women in her family, she said. “I have been so profoundly more grateful than I have ever been over the past few months for my parents because of that.”


Beth Fouhy reported from Louisville. Associated Press writers Mike Baker in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and Michael Rubinkam in Girardville, Pa., contributed to this report.


  1. RichardKanePA

    @verizon.net, –

    The Previous comment “Third Party Time” scares me.

    Young people are involved in elections again. the first time since Kennedy, and if she finagles the nomination, I’ll be disappointed but try to work as hard for her as I would my favorite candidate Obama.

    I don’t want a President who sings “Nuke, nuke, nuke Vietnam”, or who is so uncouth as when Castro retired to say, I hope Castro dies soon, not much coverage, so Google BBC News Castro and McCain.

    How about Capital Blue taking about the important race now instead of worrying about the less important issue of who will oppose McCain?

    Hillary is a better fighter, but Obama will be a greater inspiration than Kennedy was and all around the world not just in this country if he makes it. Perhaps if Hillary keeps persistently trying to browbeat the delegates, she can agree in advance to push for Obama to be on the Supreme Court or the New Secretary of General of the UN, so other countries can join in the celebration of his tremendous mediating abilities. See, opednews.com/maxwrite/diarypage.php?did=6839


  2. SEAL

    It shouldn’t make any difference whether she stays or goes. After being busted for conjoring up a complete falsehood of flying into the fracus under fire, why would anyone vote for her?

    What happened to that story, anyway? Is that it? “I Lied! So what? No one is perfect.” I guess not. Certainly not the electorate.

    I can’t understand how she could still be a candidate. She didn’t tell a lie – it was a WHOPPER!

    Elect President Whoppers.

    Is this a great country or what?

  3. Sheep

    Hillary will never give up because of pride. I hope Mr. Obama will continue to take the high road because now, everyone is seeing Hillary for what she really is…Power Hungry and Evil!

    Obama 08′

  4. Pablo

    If we continue to have elections funded with private and corporate $, then those with the $, who don’t give much creedence to what is important to the average citizen will continue to run the show. We will continue our decline into the dark abyss if we don’t confront the base of what is wrong in our country. Of course, along with making elections taxpayer funded, the acceptance of $ from lobbyists will become illegal as well, with strict punishment for traitors that violate the law. A ‘democracy’ based on who has the most $ is not a democracy at all, and that is what we have here.

  5. Sandra Price

    Pablo, the DNC chose this super delegate system after previous Primaries did not look right to the Democratic Party leaders. The length of the Primaries has changed little but the media coverage has made every word from the mouths of any candidates overblown to get their numbers up. We are in a mess in this November election because there is no clear cut difference between the two parties. The religious right brought in a list of prohibitions and got them into the GOP platform. It changed the entire concept of the GOP and brought in an increase in the Independents. This slowed up the primaries considerably.

    It would be better if all States had their primaries all in one month. I’m a political junkie and love the debates, speeches and conventions. I like the idea of financially supporting my Candidate and would rather not have the government involved at all.

  6. Pablo

    Obama is totally right on this one. If warmonger hillary wants to keep running, she has every right to do so. These calls by politicians and Obama supporters for the Democratic party to step in and somehow stop the process is ridiculous. They should all be ashamed of themselves in my opinion. I thought this was a democracy. Although hillary probably should step down for the sake of the party and the public, nobody has the right to interfere with a selected process just because it seems too prolonged or painful to them. The rules were agreed upon and how dare anybody suggest the party should undemocratically interfere. If it helps hillary’s ego to keep smearing the candidate that in all likelihood (unless some corrupt BS happens at the convention) will be the democratic candidate, then she can do that. She has every right to do it, and all the citizens in the remaining states deserve the right to vote, just as every other state has so far.

    That being said, this whole situation clearly demonstrates that we need to change the democratic party election rules, namely, the time frame. Oh, and correct me if I am wrong, but getting rid of superdelegates seems like a positive move also. I think we need to shorten the entire process to one month. What logical reason is there to have it so prolonged? I can feel that people all around me are depressed and on edge over the whole deal, and the smearing in this ridiculously long process is lengthy and damaging to the winning candidate, not to mention the party itself. Also, aren’t these senators supposed to be doing what they are paid to do? They certainly haven’t had much time to do what they are paid to do for a year now, simply ridiculous! Shortening the process seems very logical to me, but just as with reforming elections to be strictly taxpayer funded, nobody says anything. The solutions are so obvious, but few propose them, very perplexing to me.